Recently, almost 9 month old Andrah Kate had more firsts in her life...like going strawberry pickin' with her mommy and daddy. She didn't know what to think about the taste of her first strawberry...but she had definite opinions about her first ride in her little red wagon.
"Please Daddy! I like the wagon...please let me stay!"
Watching life happen with my grandchild brings back memories of raising my children.
My first strawberry pickin' adventure took place when Rebekah was...oh...about 7 years old, making Josh's age about 5 years. We headed out one gorgeous spring morning, happily singing along with our Patch the Pirate cassette tape, making our way to the countryside of Magnolia, and The King's Orchard, where the "berries are so plentiful, they just jump in your box." That should have been a clue...but naively, I did not catch on!
Delightedly, we skipped between the rows of acres and acres of the most magnificent strawberries. Cool breezes played in our hair. The morning sun felt good on our backs, and caused the strawberries to glisten on the vines. Such a morning was made in heaven, and I recall the gratefulness I felt for sharing this time with my children.
Each of us had our own small bucket, which we would fill and take back and forth to our wagon, amid shouts of "Look at this one. It is SO big!" Or, "Mama! Come over here...there are lots of giant ones!"
All good things must come to an end, and as we blissfully headed back to the office, I glanced down at our strawberry laden wagon, and for the first time that morning...I began to wonder about the cost. "Just how much per pound did the lady say we must pay?" and "Umm...how many pounds do you suppose we have in the wagon?"
My moment of truth hit me with a jolt. "That will be a total of $75.00," I heard the clerk say. Stunned...I knew the cash my husband had given me was not enough, and I searched for my checkbook. In those days, that amount was my weekly grocery budget.
Expecting the worst, I dreaded confessing my crime to my husband that evening. But when he saw all the beautiful strawberries...and heard the children excitedly relate the morning's adventure...and he saw how penitent I was, assuring him I learned my lesson about "counting the cost"...HE LAUGHED. And laughed...and laughed some more.
And every spring, when anyone mentions strawberry pickin'...that "berry happy" day is recalled...and he laughs again.